Egocentric and allocentric spatial reference frames in aging: A systematic review

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Abstract

Aging affects many aspects of everyday living, such as autonomy, security and quality of life. Among all, spatial memory and spatial navigation show a gradual but noticeable decline, as a result of both neurobiological changes and the general slowing down of cognitive functioning. We conducted a systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines to identify studies that specifically investigated the role of allocentric and egocentric frames in healthy aging. Concerning spatial navigation, our results showed a preservation of egocentric strategies, along with specific impairments in the use of allocentric and switching abilities. Regarding spatial memory, instead, outcomes were more divergent and not frame-specific. With this perspective, spatial impairments were discussed considering the cognitive profile of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

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